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Incubation Recess Behaviors Influence Nest Survival of Wild Turkeys

We used GPS data to see how nest survival was influenced by hen behaviors during the time when she was incubating the nest.  We found that hens spent about 84% of their time at the nest, and on average took 1 to 2 recesses each day, where they left the nest to feed and relax.  We also found that moving farther away from the nest early in incubation improved nest survival, but as the hatch date neared, staying on the nest and not moving away from it improved survival.  The take-home was that as nests neared the expected hatch date, it appears that hens may prioritize success of the nest over their own survival.

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